The Community Risk Reduction Section of the South Carolina Office of State Fire Marshal was established in 2012. With this restructuring, our office wanted to be more responsive and proactive in regard to South Carolina’s fire problem and the statutory obligation outlined in Title 23, Chapter 9 in regard to the investigation of the cause, origin and circumstances of fire (23-9-40f). The authority to investigate a fire within a reasonable time is outlined in 23-9-50.
In order to meet our statutory charge and to better educate and support South Carolina citizens and the South Carolina fire service, the Community Loss Education And Response (CLEAR) team was created in 2013. The CLEAR team is a multi-disciplinary team of the SC Division of Fire and Life Safety.
SECTION 23-9-50. Authority to inspect buildings or premises.
(a) The State Fire Marshal shall have authority at all times of the day or night, in the performance of duties imposed by this chapter, to enter upon and examine any building or premises where any fire has occurred and other buildings or premises adjoining. Provided, that the Fire Marshal may enter a private dwelling or premise only with the permission of the owner or occupant, unless there is probable cause to believe that a violation of the provisions respecting fire laws exists, that there exists imminent danger to the occupants thereof or arson.
(b) The State Fire Marshal shall have authority at any reasonable hour to enter into any public building or premises or any building or premises used for public purposes to inspect for fire hazards.
(c) Nothing in this section shall restrict the authority of the State Fire Marshal from investigating any premises which has been damaged by a fire of suspicious cause within a reasonable period of time after the occurrence of such fire.
Respond to significant fire events as requested and dispatched by the Community Risk Reduction Section or the State Fire Marshal. Upon arrival, assist other agencies and collect pertinent fire and life safety data.
Use incident research findings to develop and deliver educational and outreach programs to South Carolina citizens and the fire service.
Implement prevention and mitigation strategies to support community readiness in South Carolina.
For more information, please contact the Community Risk Reduction Section at (803) 896-1250 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact the CLEAR team 24 hours a day or to report a fire fatality, please call (803) 896-4911.